A blue-green algal bloom is reported in the Boulder Lake area, according to samples gathered by the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, said a news release from Public Health Sudbury and Districts on Friday.
Boulder Lake is in the Sudbury East area, located east of Estaire and south of Nepewassi Lake.
PHSD said the algae samples contained a species of cyanobacteria that can produce toxins.
"Blue-green algal blooms could also appear in other parts of the lake. Because blooms are not anchored, they can move from one location to another through wind and water action. New blooms can also form. All residents on lakes should look for blooms in their area," said the news release.
PHSD further advised that blue-green algal blooms (cyanobacteria) have an unsightly pea soup appearance and a foul smell and can produce toxins. Residents should avoid using or drinking water from areas where blooms are visible.
The highest concentrations of toxins are usually found in blooms and scum on the shoreline, said PHSD. These dense accumulations pose the greatest potential risks to people and pets. The algae toxins can irritate a person’s skin and, if ingested, cause diarrhea and vomiting. If a person ingests high levels of toxin, they could suffer liver and nervous system damage.
Public Health Sudbury advises people using lakes and rivers to be on the lookout for algal blooms. If you see a bloom near your property or water intake line, take precautions as follows:
-Avoid using the water for drinking, bathing, or showering, and do not allow children, pets, or livestock to drink or swim in the bloom.
-Be aware that shallow drinking water intake pipes can pump in blue-green algae.
-Do not boil the water or treat it with a disinfectant, like bleach, because it breaks open the algae cells, which releases more toxins into the water.